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Substance writing with a critical note of an unknown poem


What to do before writing the substance of any unknown poem?

·      Read the poem several times before you write.

·      Try to understand the author’s view, feelings, and ideas, and connect all the ideas to form a central idea of the poem.

·      Mark the unknown words and phrases, and guess what the word means.

·      Identify the speaker of the poem and the intention of the speaker.

·      Understand the context of the poem.

·      Guess the time when the poem was written.

·      Use 35% of the words the original poem contains.

·      Gather all the points including information, and emotions of the speaker, and write in your language using third-person pronouns without using direct speech.

What to do before writing a critical note of any unknown poem?

·      Try to understand the genre, language, and style of the poem.

·      Understand the tone, and rhyme scheme of the poem.

·      Identify the figure of speech that is used in the poem.

·      Understand intertextuality (Reference from other poems).


In this poem, the poet invites people to stay with him in the lap of nature which is full of pleasure and peace. He describes a few advantages along with disadvantages of rural life and city life. In the forest, people can sing their cheerful song as sweet as a free bird sings with relaxation and tranquility.

According to him, people may face a few difficulties -the discomforts of winter, and rough weather in the forest, but they do not face any betrayal, challenges, or war against the enemy there. So the poet states if people can ignore their desire of achieving the goal, they can live in nature.

In the forest, people need to eat those foods whatever they obtain in the abundance of nature. According to the speaker, people need to be happy with everything they get as a gift of nature in the forest, but they can taste the real happiness of life and enjoy every peaceful moment of paradise in nature.

Critical note:

  • Genre and form: This pastoral poem is subjective by nature. It consists of two stanzas of eight lines each.

  • Context and setting: It is a fine specimen of pastoral life. It introduces a wide range of facts about rural life. In this poem, the speaker beautifies the simplicity and serenity of the forest and portrays a contrasting picture between city life and rural life.

  • Image and symbolsHere the poet uses the image of a bird and sun to depict a genuine picture of a forest. Here the word ‘enemy’ symbolizes tension, terror, and trouble of city life, whereas winter symbolizes hardship and tough times, and rough weather symbolizes natural calamities.

  • Poetic DeviceThere are many poetic devices in this poem. The poet has used alliteration in the second line of each stanza where the sound of ‘l’ is repeated twice. He has used repetition as the last four lines of the first stanza are repeated in the second stanza of this poem, and in the fifth line of each stanza the phrase ‘come hither’ is repeated thrice. He has also used inversion at the beginning of the second stanza where the poet has reversed the normal word order of a structure.

  • Language and style: It is marked by personal touches and vivid descriptions of the forest. Both the first stanza and second stanza end with an optimistic note about rural life. It is written in lucid and simple language. All words are well-chosen. It illustrates highly philosophical thoughts about the serene beauty of rural life as well as the chaos and complication of city life.

  • Rhyme scheme: The rhyme scheme of the poem is: aabbcaa in the first stanza and ddeecaac in the second stanza.

  • Mood or toneThe tone of the poem is peaceful and jovial.

  • Intertextuality: This poem is a celebration of pastoral life as we see William Wordsworth glorify nature and rural life in ‘The World is too much with Us. Again this poem makes us remember John Keats who portrayed a contrasting picture between city life and rural life in his poem ‘To one who has been long in city pent’.

  • Conclusion: The poem appreciates the charming beauty of rural life, and criticizes the struggles of modern society which is full of enemies in disguise of competitors. This poem also justifies the idea that rural life is more peaceful than city life.


Substance Writing with a critical note from an Unknown Passage


Substance Writing with a critical note from an Unknown Passage

What to do before writing the substance of any unknown passage?

·      Read the passage several times before you start writing.

·      Mark the unknown words and phrases, and guess what the word means.

·      Try to Identify the speaker and the topic the author tries to discuss.

·      Use third-person pronouns without using direct speech.

·      Use 35% of the words the original passage contains.

·      Gather all the points including information, and emotions of the speaker, and write in your language.

What to do before writing critical a note of any unknown passage?

·      Understand the context of the passage.

·      Identify the point of view the author has used in the passage.

·      Try to understand the genre of the passage.

·      Try to understand the structure, style, language, and context of the passage.


In autumn mornings kings of old went to conquest, and the speaker’s mind wandered all around the world as his dull way infused a strong desire of traveling in his mind. When he heard the name of another country and saw a foreigner in the street, he dreamt of various scenes of traveling in the realm of fantasy.

Critical note-

  • Genre: The text is an instance of descriptive discourse which tells about the speaker’s strong desire for traveling to another country.

  • Author’s approach: The author’s approach is subjective throughout the passage.

  • Context and Central theme: Here the speaker wants to highlight how he is attracted to traveling because of his dull life and how he wanders all around the world with the wings of imagination.

  • Language, Style, and Form: The passage is full of descriptions of the author’s feelings and fantasies. It is written in the first-person point of view. The narrator is omniscient. The writer’s language is, however, simple, homely, and free from ambiguity.

  • Ornamental expression and rhetorical language: Here the author gives human qualities to mind and heart. So, ‘mind’ and ‘heart’ both are personified. He has used simile as he uses ‘like’ to compare a call to travel’ with ‘a thunderbolt’. He has used metaphor in the word ‘vegetable existence’.

  • Image and symbols: In this passage, the author has used images of the mountains, glens, and the forest to convey his strong longing for traveling, and he has used the symbol of ‘vegetable existence’ to indicate a steady and dull way of his life that puts him at his home and takes him to the realm of fantasy when he wishes to see the world.

  • Tone: It is written in the tone of fantasy.

  • Intertextuality: The passage is analytical. We can relate the passage to Satyajit Ray’s Pather Panchali where Apu, a small boy imagines so many things and goes all around the world by his chariot of fantasy.

  • Proverb and catchy line in the text: The author has used a catchy line at the end of the passage-“a call to travel would fall upon me like a thunderbolt.”

  • Conclusion: The passage depicts a few facts about the speaker’s life along with his fantasy about traveling. The author enriches us with a message that the four walls of home make our lives uninteresting and dull, but the boundaries of home compel us to live our dreams in imagination, which takes us wherever we wish.